June 15, 2014

Facial Scan Self Portrait

Using a scanner whose top has broken off, I decided to use it for a self-portrait.

Using a scanner whose top has broken off, I used it to take a self-portrait.

To accomplish this, I had to convert an old lighting stand and build a custom mount to place my scanner (an HP Officejet 4500 G510g-m) vertically, with the glass face perpendicular to the floor. The entire rig looked and felt like the dry plate cameras you see in “old time” representations. But actually functioned more like a modern-day camera obscura, with a computer doing the tracing of the image received from the lens.

Blacking out the studio, and standing 2 feet in front of the scanner’s glass, I held as still as I could while the lamps and scan head traveled down the plate. The process of “holding still” informed me of what posing for an “old timey” photo may have been like. While seeing a narrow bar of white travel down my face, recording my appearance invoked a sense of futurism, as if I’m being scanned in some Sci-Fi movie. It was an interesting process.

The resulting images seem serious, likely due to my expression (an easy one to hold for a minute), and the monochromatic quality of the images themselves.

The 5 original .tiff files are available for those interested. They are each approximately 5000×6929 at 600DPI (8.333×11.547 inches). Please reach out to me [at] carlomontagnino.com.